Road mishaps occur more frequently than any other type of accident involving modes of transportation. Some victims are lucky enough to survive such incidents with only minor injuries. But there are times when road accidents are very catastrophic. These events can claim the lives of so many or cause severe injuries that change the existence of people. What drivers should be aware of is that although there are accidents that cannot be prevented due to natural reasons, most of these can be avoided. There are also specific factors that increase the likelihood of an accident, and some are discussed below.
1. Driver Error
Accidents due to driver error account for more than 60% of road accidents each year. As the term implies, driver error occurs because of mistakes made by an individual manning a vehicle. This depends on a lot of factors, such as how a person operating a vehicle assesses a situation, how he reacts to an incident, or how he controls his vehicle. Here are more specific examples – poor turn; failure to look properly; failure to properly judge the speed or path of other drivers; sudden braking; and passing other motorists too closely. Drivers can avoid such incidents if they pay close attention to their driving lessons or training. Having a lot of experience driving and focusing on the road can also decrease the number of accidents due to driving errors.
2. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is basically making injudicious decisions while driving. Unwise decisions, like exceeding the speed limit, disobeying traffic signals, or making illegal turns, can threaten the lives of the driver and other vehicle operators, as well as innocent pedestrians.
3. Road Environment
Of course, not all accidents can be blamed on drivers. Many mishaps also occur because of environmental conditions. Slick paths because of ice or wet highways due to heavy rain can undermine road safety. Animals crossing the road and the presence of deposits on surfaces, like mud or oil, are also contributing factors. Then, there are also environmental features that might be detrimental to driving. Fog, mist, sunlight or glare, snow, rain, or lush vegetation can all reduce visibility. Aside from natural causes, there are also man-made things that can play a part in traffic accidents. Examples are — damaged road surfaces due to poor maintenance; defective traffic signals; and improper placement of road signs. All of these can affect how people drive.
The most familiar example of impairment is DUI or driving under the influence. A person is guilty of DUI if he drives a vehicle while he is drunk or while he is under the influence of drugs or even prescribed medication. He is a real danger on the road because he is unable to react properly or make split decisions due to his current physical and mental state. Drivers who are overly fatigued or sleepy can also be considered “impaired” because their concentration is somewhat limited too.
5. Pedestrian Errors
There are also times when pedestrians are at fault. Alcohol or drug-impaired people, as well as distracted, inattentive, and reckless individuals can cause road accidents if they – fail to look when crossing; fail to judge where they should be going or passing; fail to follow road regulations or signs; or fail to look after children who might be playing near or on the road.
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Claire Waltham is a full-time freelancer who has written hundreds of articles for many satisfied clients, including a Spokane injury lawyer. Her materials often talk about road safety and personal injury cases.